WATERVILLE — Three Maine companies went head to head for $100,000 Tuesday night in the season 2 finale of the business competition TV show “Greenlight Maine.”

The program, recorded at the Laurette Ayotte Auditorium at Thomas College in Waterville, will air at 7:30 p.m. June 17 on WCSH-TV in Portland and WLBZ-TV in Bangor. Greenlight Maine’s producers asked the Morning Sentinel to refrain from revealing the identity of the season 2 winner before the episode airs.

The show’s final contestants – representing Surge Hydro, Bluet and Herbal Revolution – were chosen from 80 entrepreneurs who applied to participate in the Emmy-nominated show’s second season. Twenty-six companies competed in this season’s first 13 episodes, pitching their companies to a panel of three judges from the business world. During the show’s regular season, contestants were assessed on the quality of their pitches, but Tuesday’s finalists were judged primarily on the viability, scalability and innovation of their ideas.

David Markley and Nicholas Cabral, founders of Surge Hydro, an energy company based in Belfast, started experimenting with hydropower while they were still students at Maine Maritime Academy. In his first appearance on “Greenlight Maine,” Markley described how during their sophomore year, Cabral went ahead and bought five hydroelectric dams in Belfast.

“So while we were in school, we’d rush out of class, run over to the dams, tinker and then go back to school and study for tests,” Markley said. “And while we were doing that, we secured a long-term power purchase agreement, we got endorsed by the town of Belfast as a city renewable, and so that means we got support by the greater town itself.”

The two marine systems engineers went on to develop modular units that could be used to retrofit idle dams for energy production. The company already has entered into a power purchase agreement with Central Maine Power Co. and is selling power back to the grid. And Markley and Carbal see broad room for growth. According to the National Hydropower Association, a nonprofit that promotes the use of hydropower, only 3 percent of U.S. dams are equipped to generate electricity. Surge Power puts the number of idle dams across the country at around 80,000. They have identified 26 of 400 idle dams in Maine alone that could be eligible for retrofitting.


Bluet, a wine company from Jefferson, uses the traditional champagne method to make what it claims is the state’s only wild blueberry sparkling wine. In their first appearance on Greenlight Maine, Bluet founders Eric Martin and Michael Terrien, childhood friends from their time growing up in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, said they had released about 2,400 bottles of Bluet wine in each of the last two years and found the wine quickly sold out. This year the company expects to release 4,000 bottles.

According to the company’s website, Bluet has partnered with over 50 stores and restaurants across the state, from Portland’s Eventide to the Bar Harbor Inn.

On Tuesday, Martin and Terrien introduced a prototype for a prosecco-type wine they would like to price around $15. The men said they hope to invest in new staff and equipment and can see the company ramping up to 50,000 bottles over the next three years.

Katheryn Langelier founded her company, Herbal Revolution, in 2010. Herbal Revolution, based in midcoast Maine, offers organically farmed herbal tinctures, teas, tonics, elixirs and drinking vinegars geared toward treating stress-based ailments. To date Langelier has been a one-woman show, growing, processing and bottling her own products. In her first pitch, she said she was aiming to tap into the growing herbal supplement market, projected to reach $115 billion by 2020.

Since she founded the company, Langelier said, she had seen expansive growth in demand for her products. She said she has experienced a 60 percent annual average growth rate and saw a 77 percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2017. Her products are already in more than 180 stores, including national chains such as Whole Foods and Urban Outfitters.

“Once people try the products, they come back again and again,” Langelier said.

Kate McCormick can be contacted at 861-9218 or at:


Twitter: KateRMcCormick

Comments are no longer available on this story